Posted October 13, 2016on:
When I read the STonline headline, You don’t need much space to have sex: Josephine Teo on ‘no flat, no child’ belief, I wondered if the paper was making a mountain out of a molehill.
After I read the article, I concluded that it was, but it had a good reason to.
There is a mountain of an issue in family planning and housing, and there were reasonable sound bites from the rest of the interview. However, all that logic seemed to be negated by the juicy molehill quote: “You need a very small space to have sex.”
What was the context for the quote? Senior Minister of State, Josephine Teo, was addressing the fact that couples seemed to prioritise getting a flat before coupling and having children.
Given how long saving for an apartment, waiting in queue, waiting for a flat to be built, getting rejected, and trying again takes, a candid response might very well be a Nike-inspired, “Don’t wait. Just do it.”
There is being candid and there is being Trump-like. A comment referring to the “small space to have sex” is was a Trumpet and shortsighted.
The act of copulation is takes a relatively short time (insert snigger here) compared to the duration of rearing and nurturing children. Most people, including the Minister herself, know that.
I recall a verse that someone wrote in an autograph book (yes, those things existed) when I was in school and it went something like this:
What is love
It cannot be explained
One night’s pleasure
Nine months pain
A young teen could see the mid-term consequences albeit tongue-in-cheek. An adult with fiscal and family responsibilities looks at longer term consequences and the larger picture.
I point this out plainly not to score political points (or get demerits as the case may be) nor to poke fun at an off-the-cuff comment. As with most things, I make links to schooling and educational technology. At the moment, I have more questions than answers.
Why do many teachers still take the short term view by refusing to move away from teaching methods that do not include meaningful and powerful technology?
Why do they focus on the immediately obvious (e.g., curriculum-driven content and exams) instead of the larger picture (i.e., the holistic development of the child?
Why do we make it easy for them to operate in “a very small space” that is the schooling bubble?